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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home

Heart - 10. Nurse Ratched

Tyson repeatedly clashes with his new nurse and opens up further to Vladimir.

He tossed and turned a lot during that night. Sue's constant checks during the night made it hard for him to settle. Every time he got close, that annoying flashlight would light up his face! And the hospital smell never did go away, even if the rooms in this ward were intended to pass as hotel rooms. He'd been away from his bed for almost a week now, between the stay in emergency and the nights in the Acute Inpatient Unit. What he wouldn't do to go to sleep to the sounds of traffic outside his window once more. Instead, he heard the sounds of keycards beeping, doors opening and closing and the washing machine humming all night long. He thought of Vladimir often during the night. How sweet he was. How scared he sometimes got for no reason. Hopefully, Cynthia helped him out. She was here earlier.

He managed to pass out for good at around one thirty in the morning. The dream he had was an odd one. There was a person with three heads. Vladimir was there. The three heads on the monster that chased Vlad were familiar, and when Tyson shoved the beast away from his friend, he saw that the heads were his mother, father and sister, all leering at him with hatred.

"Good morning Mr Lovett," an older man, maybe in his late fifties, rushed into the room without bothering to knock first. Tyson, already disturbed by a bad dream, did not appreciate that.

"Belmont-Lovett," he immediately corrected this rude stranger, sitting up in his bed. "Can you not draw the curtain?"

"It's morning, and the sun's out. It's time to get up," the nurse ignored him and flung the curtain open, letting the sun pour in.

"Who the fuck asked you?" Tyson was fully lucid now, and he wasn't in a good mood. "Where's Alice? Who are you?"

"Drop the attitude, thank you very much. I'm Ron. I'm your nurse this morning," he replied curtly.

"Like I needed another reason to kill myself."

Tyson fell back onto his bed and covered his head with his blanket. He knew his three favourite nurses couldn't work every single day of the year, but that didn't mean he deserved to be stuck with this refractory old prick. Janet and Geraldine didn't take his shit either, but at least they didn't go out of their way to make things uncomfortable.

"Don't spar with me, young man," Ron refused to let it go and stood by the bedside. "I'm not in the habit of taking cheek. It's eight o'clock, and I need you to get in that shower and nip down to the dining hall."

"It's eight o'clock and I need you to fuck yourself, Ron," Tyson slipped his hand out and flipped his middle finger at the man, defiant and angry. "You're not my nurse."

Ron grabbed the covers and pulled them down, exposing the boy's face. He was a corpulent, neckless man with a red face and a bushy white moustache above his lips. "Guess again, Mr Belmont-Lovett. Out. I can wait all day if I have to."

"Yeah, except you can't," Tyson snorted at him, slapping his hand away and wrenching the covers back up over his brown chest. "I know for a fact you have other people to check up on." Ron's eyes narrowed just the slightest bit. "Yeah. That's what I thought. Nice bluff, but I'm not a prisoner and you don't get to give me orders. Get the fuck out."

"You should be careful how you speak to me, Mr Belmont-Lovett," Ron cautioned him in a low voice. "I see right through you. This troubled kid act doesn't fool me for a second. All I see is an attitude problem. Verbal abuse of a member of staff is a breach of the AIU rules, young man, and just because you're a patient here does not mean there aren't consequences for your actions. I do have checks to make, but when I come back, you'll out of bed and in the shower."

"How about you take care of how you speak to me, cunt!" Tyson snapped at him, raising his voice and likely letting himself be heard by anyone who happened to be passing. "Get out and stop harassing me or I'll make sure my Mum gets you fired!"

"You are a piece of work," Ron stroked his whiskers with his hand and left the room. "Out of bed, in the shower," he repeated as he left the door open behind him.

"Fuck! Off!" Tyson shrieked at the top of his lungs, and he threw his pillows from his bed to the opposite wall, where they hit with a paltry but satisfying thunk.

"Tys Tys?" Vladimir's soft, light voice distracted him from his tantrum.

Tyson panicked, aware that he looked like a raging psychopath in front of his dearest friend. Shame and guilt immediately overtook him, and he looked down at the brown comforter covering his body. Shit. Shit. Fuck. Grr.

"You alright?" Vladimir asked from the doorway, not permitted to enter another patient's room. "Hey."

"I'm fine!" Tyson scowled petulantly, folding his arms. Embarrassment wasn't a feeling he knew how to respond to. It only made him angry.

"Alright," Vladimir looked a treat when Tyson finally looked at him properly. Wearing a plain pine-green tanktop and worn black skinny jeans, his arms, upper chest and bare feet seemed to glow white in contrast under his stark black hair. "I've got an appointment to see Cynthia right after brekky, so... just wanted to let you know where I'll be."

Tyson's red hot anger always seemed to be pacified somewhat by Vladimir's sweet, soothing concern. It didn't take long before he was pulling himself out of bed. He threw on the first shirt and tracksuit pants he got his hands on, and he hobbled down the hallway in pursuit of the pretty boy.

"Oh, look who got out of bed," Ron commented smugly as he walked by in the other direction. "Are you going to behave yourself?"

"Have a heart attack already, Ron," Tyson snarled at him, and Ron stopped and put his hand firmly on Tyson's shoulder. "Do not touch me! Do you have any idea who I am? Get off! Get off me, you paedophile!"

"You need to get your act together, or I will call security," Ron warned him dangerously, and Tyson pursed his lips together with indignance and wrenched himself away. "You've been written up too many times already, and if you can't control yourself, then you will go to seclusion. Do I make myself clear?"

Tyson wanted to slug him in his stupid fat mouth, but he didn't. He fancied calling Ron all the most colourful words he knew in every language he could speak, but he restrained himself. Nothing would have made him happier to take out fourteen years of repressed emotions and misguided feelings on this piece of human garbage, but it wasn't his first priority. He wanted to see Vlady. Ron wasn't going to get in the middle of that, as much as he seemed intent on baiting the boy into lashing out. He turned away and hopped on his crutch, thinking that he'd do anything to have Alice come back. She was always so lovely to me. I was such an arsehole to her. When I see her, I'll tell her how sorry I am.

"Oooh, hello!" Vladimir was waiting for him, of course. One of the seats was already pulled out, and Tyson blushed.

"Hi. Sorry about before," Tyson put some weight down on his ankle and relished in the pain that shot through him as he sat down.

"You're cranky in the mornings. I get it," Vladimir wasn't on the mark, but Tyson didn't know if he did that on purpose to avoid the subject. "How did you sleep?"

Tyson didn't want to mention that he dreamed about the monster that stalked his friend day and night. That seemed... weird.

"Not great. Every time I'm about to nod off, Sue opens the door to shine her high beams in my face," he grumbled, scratching the back of his neck with his fingers. The other boy giggled.

"Yeah. You get used to it. Though I hope you're not here long enough to get used to it," Vladimir used his thumb and forefinger to grab at one of Tyson's tiny ringlets and repeatedly pluck at it while the boy playfully glared at him. "I share a room with Dmitry and he wants to game all night, so it never bothered me so much. I can sleep through the apocalypse."

"What's gonna happen with you when you go home?" Tyson asked, enjoying the feeling of having someone touch him affectionately. Vladimir seemed quite amused by his short curls and had a goofy grin on his face as he played with them.

"I'm going to have the longest bath anyone has ever had before," Vladimir finished by pinching Tyson's cheek with a smirk, making the boy slap his hand away. "Umm... I need to start school again in a new place. Hopefully a few suburbs away. I'll probably get stuck in some academy for evil kids."

"Why? You're not evil," Tyson objected. Vladimir's eyes wilted slowly, and he looked to the table in front of him. "You're not! None of anything that's happened is your fault."

"..." Vladimir opened his mouth to speak but thought better of it, then he said something else. "What about you? Hmm? What's a rich boy got planned for when he gets out?"

"I'm probably going to have to make up all the lessons I've missed in the last few weeks," Tyson replied glumly, picking up the blunt butter knife with his hand and running a thumb over the edge. "I don't know, Vlady. When I got here, I wanted to leave so badly. Now, I don't think I can go home. I'll kill myself."

"You will not," Vladimir shifted his chair a little closer. "You promised me."

"Lincoln's wife promised him a fun night at the theatre," Tyson replied despondently, but he liked it when his friend laughed. Perhaps Vladimir didn't quite understand Tyson's point.

"I'll take care of you when we make it out," Vladimir, perhaps sensing Tyson's thoughts, took the knife away from him. It was so blunt that it was nearly impossible to cut through toast with them, but it must have been an unsettling sight. "You're only one suburb away, remember?"

"It's not that easy, Vlady," Tyson told him miserably. "We won't see each other when we're out of here."

"Well, cheers," Vladimir's feelings were hurt by that.

"No, I think you're amazing," Tyson admitted, looking up with dark, sad eyes. "I wanna be friends. Or go on that date you promised me. But I just won't be able to. I don't get to see people or hang out or have days off. I have to be this perfect kid so my Mum and Dad look good when all those idiot socialites come walking through and treat my sister and me like monkeys in a fucking zoo."

"What's a normal day like for you, Tys?" Vladimir asked with sympathy in his voice. "Outside. Maybe a month ago, before you hurt your foot. What was it like, say, on a Wednesday?"

Tyson snorted, resting his head on his left fist and tracing his scars with the fingers from his other hand. "Oh, hump day. I'm awake at six so my sister and I can swim laps in our backyard pool. Every day. Hot, cold or hailing. Then Mum makes us eat some goopy protein fiber shit for breakfast, then I get ready for school while she talks about my lesson plans. School, then I come home and she makes me go over everything with her. Wednesday is soccer night, so I'll go to training and come right back home. We'll probably have company for dinner - we always do - and I'll tell them all about how awesome Mum is and how amazing my life is thanks to her. Then I'll learn French or something after dinner, then May teaches me how to play the cello, and then I go to bed."

"What about the weekends?" The boy asked, keeping his eye on the kitchen bar to see if his food was coming along. He was so skinny, yet he ate so much. "Do you have any free time then?"

"Weekends? Cute," Tyson rolled his eyes. If only. "It's basically another school day. Lessons most of the time, unless Mum and Dad need me to smile and be pretty for the politicians and journalists and shit. I'm not saying I can't see you when we leave because I don't want to, Vlady. I mean I really can't. Mum would never let me. I'm not allowed to have friends outside playing sports or dinners with the senators and their douchebag kids. And even if I was... she'll never let me be friends with someone from the hospital. Especially you. You're gay and you have schizophrenia. She doesn't believe in those things. When I mentioned you, she told me not to talk to you at all."

"I see," Vladimir replied quietly and sadly. "So... are you just going to give up on me? And yourself?"

"I don't know, Vlady," Tyson felt the urge to cry creeping up his throat and holding it in a vice grip. "I'm used to nobody giving a fuck about me."

"Get un-used to it!" Vladimir demanded. He was upset now. Damn it. "If you're going to go home and just kill yourself, then tell me now. I'm not gonna let myself like you if you're just gonna break my heart."

That wasn't easy to hear. It wasn't the first time they'd had a conversation like this. Tyson couldn't blame Vladimir for feeling this way, he supposed. Maybe we shouldn't talk about this anymore, he thought. It makes him sad, and it doesn't make me any more interested in living. Realising the pale boy wanted an answer, he sheepishly nodded his head.

"Kay," he mumbled. "Do you know where Alice is?"

"It's her weekend," he replied, looking a little reassured by Tyson's response. "She doesn't live here, you know. She's allowed to leave, heh."

"Oh. Right," Tyson smiled, eager to put that awful discussion behind him. "I had Ron waking me up this morning. Wanker."

"Oh, I hate that guy," Vladimir rolled his eyes. "He reminds me of a giant toad."

The boys started to giggle, and Tyson's spirits managed to turn into a more positive light as they discussed the ways Ron was a terrible person. Jae delivered a masterpiece serving of french toast with a side of bacon for Tyson and a spinach omelette for Vladimir, and just like that the morning turned around.

"Oh, good morning, fellows!" Cynthia optimistically greeted them suddenly, almost as though she'd snuck up on them. "How are my favourite patients today?"

"I knew I was your favourite," Tyson chuckled, using his fork as best he could scoop up and swallow the remnants of cream and blueberry juice.

"Much better," Vladimir smiled up at her. "Thank you for coming to see me yesterday."

Tyson was incredibly curious as to what went on between Vladimir and Cynthia. He was responsible for bringing the two of them together, after all. Shouldn't he be entitled to know how things were going? No, he reminded himself. Cynthia wouldn't give anything up. Vladimir might, but only when he was ready. Damn. He was still so surprised that Cynthia agreed to take Vladimir on as a patient without the promise of payment. She was a private psychiatrist, and that usually meant money - a lot of it. Had she refused to help someone who desperately needed it, Tyson would probably have lost a lot of respect for her. But no. Cynthia cared about him. Vladimir too. She wasn't just in it for the big bucks, like so many of the other doctors he'd seen. She wanted to help. That was why Tyson trusted her.

"I hate to pull you away from your breakfast, Vlad, but I'm only here for a short while today and I'd like to see the both of you," she spun a pen around her fingers. "Do you mind coming with me?"

"Where are we going?" Vladimir put his fork and knife together in the middle of his plate and stood up.

"Wherever you feel like. Your room. The sensory room. The foyer?" She shrugged. "Dealer's choice."

"Outside? I'd like to sit in the sun for a bit," Vladimir decided, and Cynthia smiled.

"That sounds lovely. I'll meet you by the door in a couple of minutes," she gave a nod, and she turned to her other patient. "Tyson! We've just got a couple of things we need to get sorted after, then I'll get out of your hair."

"Do I get a frog?" He asked cheekily, and she laughed out loud.

"Sweets for the sweet, so I like your chances."

The flattery tended to go to Tyson's head sometimes. She was always so kind and thoughtful, and she did her best to validate his feelings. If he was angry, she wanted to find out why. She was... just amazing. Alice, Neil and Sue were pretty great too. He missed Alice. Ron was horrid. Tyson would certainly be complaining to his mother about Ron, and with any luck, that would be the end of Ron's career in mental health. Edith did have her advantages after all, and being militant about her son's caretakers was one of them. Tyson thought about Vladimir and Charlie. How would Ron's approach affect them? Vladimir got lost in his own mind and Charlie was a broken boy. Best to cut out the rot before it spreads.

The ward always lost a lot of the light when Vladimir was gone, unfortunately. Most of the other children were depressed, psychotic or recovering in some way, and they weren't so social. Especially since Tyson had a reputation for being angry and violent. They kept their distance. It didn't feel good to see them avoiding him. Avoiding looking at him out of fear he might lose his temper. Vladimir and Charlie were the only two that seemed to like him as a person - when they felt like being social.

The morning class came around. It wasn't mandatory, exactly, but the children were all strongly encouraged to attend unless they couldn't for some reason. Charlie needed one on one support if he was going to learn. One of the girls, Amy, was often set off quickly when she got bored. Tyson, though, had long surpassed the level of anything that went on in there. It was pointless. While he might be set to solve a series of long division problems with two or three figures, at home, he would probably be using long division with polynomials and drawing up the answers on a cartesian plane. There was no reason to go, and he preferred to spend the time reading some of the novels he had stashed in his room. They challenged his mind. The nurses and social workers understood this and let him keep himself busy with the more fulfilling alternative. Not today.

"Into the study hall, please," Ron opened the door without knocking. Again. "Come on."

"Why? It's kid's stuff," Tyson looked back at the printed words. "I'm good. Thanks."

"Sort it out with Petra in the study hall," Ron entered the room and Tyson felt resentment bubbling inside him immediately.

"I have sorted it out with Petra," Tyson replied, keeping himself under control. After all, Ron had been fairly clear with his threats earlier.

"Study hall. Come on," Ron ignored him and stood by the bed. The nerve!

"Get out," Tyson glared up at him.

"You can read in the study hall," Ron was firm and unrelenting. "You can't spend all day in bed."

"As a voluntary patient here, I can decline medication, procedures and recommended activities at any time at my discretion," Tyson snapped at him, and Ron's face told him that he struck a nerve. "Yeah, you weren't expecting that, were you? You can bully and boss around all the other little kids in this cesspit, but you don't scare me one bit, and if you don't leave right now, you're going to find out why."

"You think you've got everything worked out, don't you?" Ron did not let himself lose his temper, but the veiny splotches on his face seemed to darken. "How about this, smart man? If you don't leave this room and go to the study hall, I will report the three different occasions this morning that you've abused a member of staff. It'll go down on your record and when you flip your lid again - and you will - I'll have grounds to have you charged, locked in seclusion or even transferred to the HDU."

"Ooh I'm fucking shaking," Tyson snorted, sitting up in his bed. "You haven't got any actual power. You're only a nurse - which is embarrassing for someone so old. No wonder you've got such a big chip on your shoulder."

Ron was utterly silent for a few seconds, and then he folded his arms and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind him. Tyson smirked in victory, and he returned to his novel. Not for the first time, he was grateful for the advantages he had in life. Ron was nothing. Just an old mutt with an attitude and a tiny cock to compensate for. Hmph.

"Tyson," Cynthia rapped on the door soon after, and he put down his book.

"Yeah! Come in!" He welcomed her in and sat up, straightening his clothes and his shirt and even smoothing his black curls.

She looked nice today. She looked young for her age - she appeared to be in her late twenties, but he knew she must have been older. She was young in her profession - he knew it took thirteen years or thereabouts to become a fully qualified and practising psychiatrist. She would have to be in her thirties or even her early forties. She had cool, tan skin and very dark hair with walnut coloured eyes and pretty red studs in both ears. She often wore casual and cute clothes. Today, a floral blouse under a knitted white cardigan and black jeans.

"I heard a troubling rumour about you," she began with her stern voice, closing the door behind her and dragging the squeaky chair over to the bedside. "You've been giving your nurse a lot of grief."

"He actually went and told tales on me?" Tyson sneered with his arms folded across his chest. "That's hilarious. Good joke."

"It's not a joke, Tyson," she didn't share in his mirth. She looked angry. "Honey, you cannot keep doing this. What did Ron do that upset you so much?"

"He was a dick!" Tyson huffed, sinking into his bed.

"Why don't you tell me more about it," she crossed her legs and leaned on the arm, making the chair squeak again. "Why did you feel like you needed to lash out?"

"He was a dick!" The boy repeated, beginning to feel attacked and retreating.

"Tell me about this morning, Tyson," Cynthia took out a pen and her clipboard. "From the start."

"He came in here and he was a fucking dick!" Tyson shouted at her. "He treated me like some little kid, so I told him to fuck off!"

"So you did verbally abuse him?" Cynthia asked, and Tyson sat up.

"No! Well..."

"Nurse Weinstein - Ron - has written up a report about you repeatedly attacking him because you two had a disagreement about going to the education until this morning," Cynthia explained gingerly, knowing that her patient was easily triggered into an explosion. "Is that what happened?"

"No!" Tyson's voice was loud and full of panic and rage. "He's leaving out the part where he said I was just a kid with an attitude problem!"

"Tyson, please don't raise your voice to me," she asked of him in a stern, but calm voice. "I don't like it, and I would prefer to speak with you rather than be shouted at by you."

"But he's... ugh!" Tyson growled, his heart racing and his breathing quickening. "He's lying! I didn't attack him! I told him he was shit at his job and he had no authority over me, but he started it when he was trespassing and harassing me! He's just mad because he tries to bully me and I don't let him!"

"Do you need a minute to calm down?" Cynthia asked him, cocking her head with sympathy. "I don't want to have this conversation with you while you're on edge, okay?"

"I'm fine," he pouted, crossing his legs and beginning to poke at his swollen, sprained ankle. "He's still a dickhead, though. Nurse Ratched with a cock and two hundred extra kilos." The prods caused pain, and that pain was cathartic.

"Don't hurt yourself, please," Cynthia begged him, leaning forward. "Stop. Now." Tyson, furious at the unfairness of what was happening, still did as she asked and folded his hands in his lap. "Thank you. So you and Nurse Weinstein don't get along. So, according to you, it was him who provoked you into lashing out?"

"Yes!" Tyson insisted, his eyes beginning to water. "I know I'm a pain in the arse but he's horrible! He shouldn't be around kids!"

"You have a history of losing your temper, Tyson," Cynthia scribbled in handwriting so indecipherable that he was convinced it was intentional - so only she could read it. "You've spent time in seclusion because you've been violent on several occasions, and you have a reputation for saying rude and hurtful things to other people."

"Yeah, I do! And all that's true and I'll fucking cop to that!" Tyson ran his hands through his hair. "I told Ron he was an idiot, so sue me! But I did not start shit for no reason! You know me better than that! Have I lied to you?"

"No. You haven't," Cynthia confessed, a smile crossing her face. "You've always been open and honest, so I don't believe you would lie to me. Nurse Weinstein alleges that you repeatedly mocked him and threatened him without provocation. Alleges is the key word here, Tyson. Don't bite my head off."

"I'll bite his fucking head off," Tyson grumbled, wiping his eyes with his arms. "I didn't, Cyn. I promise. If I did, I'd tell you."

"Okay. Did anyone else see what went on?" She asked, and he shook his head. "So, there were no witnesses to verify Nurse Weinstein's report. That takes all the weight out of it, Tyson. I don't think you need to worry about it. I'll have a word to him and organise a different nurse to take care of you, okay?"

"Wow," Tyson breathed a sigh of relief and humility. "Thank you."

"Don't thank me too early, Tyson," she pursed her lips. Uh oh. I made her angry. "Abusing the nurses and doctors needs to stop altogether. Right now. It's been the better part of a month, and I can't keep making excuses for you. You've had more than enough time to get used to the ward."

"He deserved it!" Tyson pointed out, but she wasn't listening.

"There are ways to deal with situations that don't involve running your mouth," Cynthia never broke eye contact. "We're going to spend some time tomorrow revising strategies you can use to help you keep a level head when the shit hits the fan. Today, I've organised an appointment for you with a friend of mine. Her name is Brianna, and she's a psychologist."

"I don't want to talk with her," Tyson told her immediately, fidgeting with his fingers. "Please. Why can't you talk to me instead?"

"Aww," Cynthia's warm smile returned. "I'm a psychiatrist, Tyson. My job is less about therapy and more about medication. Brianna's a lovely girl - she and I have worked together quite a few times before. Please give her a chance. Remember, you promised to comply with your treatment plan."

"I'll be good," he whispered in a tiny voice, ashamed of himself. "Cynthia? Thank you. I'm sorry I let you down."

"You could never let me down!" She fished something out of her bag - a chocolate frog! "I'm worried about you letting yourself down."

Thanks everyone! If you can read this, you have my sincerest love and appreciation. ❤️

Copyright © 2018 AusGlitterati; All Rights Reserved.
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I would've thrown a book at him or more. Seriously where does he get off? Finally a character I can hate besides a parent

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17 minutes ago, Wesley8890 said:

I would've thrown a book at him or more. Seriously where does he get off? Finally a character I can hate besides a parent

Hahaha! It was a personality clash that escalated remarkably quickly thanks to Tyson's anger issues and Ron's ego. Both of them behaved terribly by the end. 

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Seriously, Cynthia is such a doll! Let's hope Brianna is at least half as good at her job! :)

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of Ron, but Tyson was also way out of line.


"Get un-used to it!" Vladimir demanded. He was upset now. Damn it. "If you're going to go home and just kill yourself, then tell me now. I'm not gonna let myself like you if you're just gonna break my heart."

This part tho... You're really trying to make me cry! :,(

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20 minutes ago, ObicanDecko said:

Seriously, Cynthia is such a doll! Let's hope Brianna is at least half as good at her job! :)

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of Ron, but Tyson was also way out of line.

This part tho... You're really trying to make me cry! :,(

Haha aww hunnay ❤️ 
Yeah Tyson needs a big reality check with his attitude.

Pls don't cry.
Thank you for reading! ❤️ 

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18 minutes ago, Ivor Slipper said:

Nurse Wretched more like. :)


Listen to Cynthia, Tyson!

Hehehe you're not wrong! Nurse Ratched is a reference to the villain from the book/movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. :)


He's listening and learning! Change doesn't happen overnight, unfortunately. :( The staff have arguably been too lenient on him. 


Thank you for reading and commenting! ^_^

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I was actually on Tyson's side on this one, though not always. If you have a patient who is known to be a hothead, you don't provoke him. He's there because he was self-harming, not because he called someone a bad name. Tyson is there because he needs help, not deliberate provocation from someone on  a power trip who seems to have not worked in mental health or with kids before.

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